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The Nationals got to two games over .500 for the first time all year on July 2.

Since returning from a 10-game absence with back spasms, Juan Soto is hitting .330/.429/.577.

After going 2-10 in Max Scherzer’s starts through the end of May, the Nats have won seven straight behind the three-time Cy Young winner. In those games, Scherzer has struck out 79, walked six, and allowed just five runs in 52 innings, while holding opponents to a slash line of just .157/.196/.249. Since June 1, Scherzer has also broken his own nose during batting practice and celebrated the birth of his second child.

Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin haven’t had quite as eventful a five-week run, but Strasburg is second to Scherzer in NL pitcher WARP, while Corbin’s 11th.

This is the Nationals team that was supposed to appear on Opening Day, and thanks to the Phillies, Mets, and the entire NL Central falling into a pool of quicksand, the Nats have been able to climb back into the pennant race.

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